ISSN 2330-717X

Spain To Contribute One Million Euros To Fight Sexual Violence In Armed Conflict

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The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a renewal – promoted by Spain – of the resolution on the protection of women in armed conflict. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that gender inequality “is an injustice, immoral and an obstacle preventing progress by humanity.”

Rajoy chaired the open session entitled “Women, Peace and Security” that was held within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the United Nations Security Council. In his speech, Rajoy stressed that one of the main conclusions from the debate is that “gender inequality is a threat to international peace and security.” He also believes it to be “an injustice, immoral and an obstacle preventing progress by humanity.”

The Spanish Prime Minister highlighted that the resolution is the result of a joint effort by the Member States, the United Nations System and civil society, and lays “renewed, sound and ambitious foundations for the next 15 years on the ‘Women, Peace and Security’ agenda.”

According to Rajoy, Resolution 2242 has a two-fold objective: to strengthen the protection of women and girls in armed conflict; and increase their full and active participation in the prevention of conflict and peacebuilding.

“We must spare no effort in combating the sexual violence that is used as a weapon of war and terror, it is very often more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in conflict,” Rajoy said.

Rajoy added that women are key to the preservation and building of peace, and their contributions are essential against the senselessness of conflict.

Rajoy said that Spain is fully committed to equality between men and women. In this regard, he mentioned the approval of the Strategic Plan for Equal Opportunities and the National Strategy to Eradicate Violence Against Women, among others. In application of UN Resolution 1325, Spain also has a National Action Plan, is enhancing a gender focus in peacekeeping missions and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation maintains a strategic relationship with UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Furthermore, and in order to improve the protection of women, Mariano Rajoy announced that Spain will make a contribution of one million euros in 2016 to the new Global Acceleration Instrument and the Multi-agency Fund against Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Rajoy also committed to strictly applying the zero tolerance policy in terms of accusations of sexual violence affecting Spanish civilian and military members of overseas missions.

Other commitments include further developing the training on gender issues provided to members of the Armed Forces and State Law Enforcement Agencies, and fostering the participation of military women in peacekeeping operations and mediation teams.

In a statement to the media at the end of the session, Rajoy specified that 600 military women took part in international missions in 2015.

Rajoy also stressed that the resolution was approved unanimously by the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council, sponsored by 70 countries and over 100 countries expressed their interest in the issue. Furthermore, he reiterated that the resolution consolidates the progress achieved in recent years and offers a response to current shortcomings.

Rajoy added that the approval of this text is “a very positive step towards guaranteeing gender equality” and moving towards “a more civilised, fairer and more reasonable world that has greater respect for people’s rights, basically women and girls.”

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